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Reforming teacher education in the UK: teacher educators’ experiences of an increasingly marginalised position. Dr Harriet Rowley (presenting) Prof Tony.

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Presentation on theme: "Reforming teacher education in the UK: teacher educators’ experiences of an increasingly marginalised position. Dr Harriet Rowley (presenting) Prof Tony."— Presentation transcript:

1 Reforming teacher education in the UK: teacher educators’ experiences of an increasingly marginalised position. Dr Harriet Rowley (presenting) Prof Tony Brown & Kim Smith, MMU

2 Introduction “Market-based approaches to teacher education are growing internationally. There are concomitant moves to create uniformity and a system of more centralized authority over what counts as important teacher skills and knowledge. These kinds of reforms are overtly meant to help. Each is closely connected to the larger arena of education, where momentous ideological transformations are underway. The possible hidden effects of these efforts can be understood only if we look both inside teacher education programs and to the larger social field of power on which they operate.” (Apple, 2001; 182)

3 Broader ideological context

4 The impact of ideological transformations on HE’s “In a relatively short period of time, academic work and academic identity has shifted from being largely autonomous, self-governing with particular privileges and public duties, to a profession that has been modernised, rationalised, re-organised and intensely scrutinised.” (Fitzgerald & Gunter, 2012)

5 The impact of ideological transformations on ITE Highly regulated, centralised system (Menter, Brisard & Smith, 2006). Coalition Government (2010 –) Introduction of school-based and school- led route ‘School Direct’. Threat to university contribution on conceptual level but also very existence. “Teaching is a craft and it is best learnt as an apprentice observing a master craftsman or woman. Watching others, and being rigorously observed yourself as you develop, is the best route to acquiring mastery in the classroom.” (Gove 2010, n,p.)

6 Case studies Roger Deakin Forced to negotiate with schools using the ‘sub-text of it being a school-led partnership…whatever that means.’ ‘Now some schools want it to be that way in reality and others don’t and are actually quite resentful, and others would prefer it not but they understand the political context, so we have these multi-layered conversations where we know we both have to present it differently to an external audience. Then of course there are senior managers within the university who we have to present a very different face to, who are very resistant and at times outraged at the notion that schools should have such a voice.’ Determining market actor – proportion of income from ITE/research. ‘The university wants us to to deliver on teaching, but if it is at the cost of research we don’t want to know.’ Education department ‘pin probe’ in terms of university income.

7 Paul Bruner Restructuring of programme: ‘It has been forced upon us from above. Academic arguments don’t trump economics ones now’. ‘But the problem we have as an ITT provider is that outside of the maths education group there’s very little theoretical perspective or research gets done... You could describe most staff members as people who might have been good teachers 12 years ago but certainly couldn’t hack it today.’ ‘I have a theoretical neoliberal perspective on what’s happening on here. And rather akin to the health service which is now so privatised so far that actually it would require Lenin to get it back up in public control. We have a whole neoliberal agenda that people just haven’t woken up to. And I personally do feel that the train is too well on the tracks to be derailed.’

8 Lottie Jowatt ‘I have always been quite good with people and managing relationships with people…it’s a skill that I have to use a lot so I and the university performs well…but maybe I shouldn’t have to spend the time I do mediating between students, schools and the university that way I might be able to some academic work.’ ‘I think we give support to the trainees that’s value for money, and will these school tutors do the same? I don’t know...I’m thinking the trainees are now customers because they pay their £9000. They say they don’t get the deal they wanted at school. I get an saying “I’m not paying £9000.” They fall out with the tutor and refuse to pay. What do we do then?’

9 ‘The thing is you have to clearly work out your rationale for why you’re doing something, you know. We’re very clear about this because it’s research-based. We actually call it…we actually do research-led teaching and by that what we mean there is we deliberately problematize an area and we’ll go and design the sessions leading it, so we can research it with the students.’ ‘It is finding a way to remain who you are and what keeps you going at the same time as change is happening…I can see where the change is going and I can see which changes are ones we have to do because we have to do to tick a box, and ones that are taking us in a direction, because that’s where we want to go, not because we’re being made to go…For me, doing the PhD over 6 years, it’s given me this thinking … a bit of me time. Okay, there’s not time really in the system for me, but that gives me headspace to … because I’m having to change with that, that assists me managing some of the changes that are happening around me, because I’m pushing my own comfort zone … I’m pushing myself out of who I was.’ ‘It is still me that gets to stand in front of the trainees and that gives you chance to influence things. It is very easy to be in the director’s box at a football match but the action is down there on the terraces. You want to be involved. Sink into the mire, embrace the butcher but try and change the world it needs it. Absolutely. You have to get your hands dirty and at the moment there is still lots of us doing exactly that.’


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